If one works as a ghostwriter or writing mentor (like yours truly), you often get to hear a question – something along the lines of: “I want to tell a story/write about [insert writing topic here] – but would a publisher be interested in that? And if yes: Which publisher?”
Ghostwriting and the Search for a Publisher
Sure, that’s a totally legitimate question! And since paying a ghostwriter (me! ME! MEEE!) is an investment, such a question does make sense (even though nowadays many authors decide to take the selfpublishing route anyway). But when it comes to answering it, the ghostwriter of your choice is not necessarily the go-to-guy (or gal). The ghostwriter might have experience when it comes to writing in the genre of your choice – but they are usually neither market researcher nor literary agents.
Searching potential Publishers
But here’s the thing you can easily do yourself, with just a few minutes online – and yes, this works for creative writing, as well as non-fiction writing:
- Go to the website of an online book seller (amazon, Barnes & Noble or others)
- Select a few keywords that could be used to describe your story – enter these into the search field and start the search.
- The search results should give you a first overview of what the market has to offer regarding your chosen subject/genre. Once you select a title and click for the details, you can look for the name of the publisher and get an idea about their portfolio/areas of interest.
- In addition, you can head to the publisher’s website afterwards to check their program and submission guidelines, if available.
That’s of course still no guarantee that the publishers you research like this will actually publish your story later. The quality of a manuscript is not only a question of selecting the right subject/writing topic – but of how you treat it, your writing skills. There are so many factors that play a role here. But I guess that’s another subject for another post 🙂